Monday, October 29, 2007
Interesting article about offshore outsorcing
My friend Rocky has recently posted an interesting blog post, which in turn refers to an article written by one of his fellow "Megenicons" about Considerations in Evaluating Onshore vs. Offshore Software Development.
I find this post interesting, because as almost everyone else in this business, we at EPS also deal with offshore vendors. We do NOT do any offshoring ourselves, but several of our customers have opted to give part of their projects to offshore vendors, so we often find ourselves in a situation that turns offshore competitors into (temporary?) partners. The results have so far been mixed. I personally believe that offshoring can work if done right. However, I have hardly ever seen a client of mine who was interested in saving money by offshoring, put a lot of money into setting up the appropriate infrastructures, including sending managers offshore, and the like.
I find that the article above sums up many of the issues quite nicely. One issue that I think it doesn't discuss enough is the issue of control. Unless one really does invest enough money to move a small team offshore to work with the offshore vendor, one simply loses control over the project. One of my clients who outsources to the Ukraine discovered several months into the project, that half the hours he paid for, the vendor simply didn't spend on his project at all. He had paid for several fulltime developers, while it turned out later that they worked on other projects as well. Another client of mine discovered that although he thought he had contracted with a vendor to provide a very specific set of developers (which have even been brought to the US for evaluation and training) ended up working on the project only part time, while cheaper resources simply logged into Team System with their accounts, pretending to be them. The issue was discovered due to the drastic variation in code quality and style.
Control and management is a tough and time consuming issue. It is hard enough to coordinate a team in a single office. It is more difficult to do the same with a team that is split up in various locations in North America or in western Europe. Add a serious time zone discrepancy and drastic cultural differences to the mix, and you are looking at a very serious amount of effort and commitment, both in time and money. And even with all that, a high level of risk remains...
Posted @ 5:04 PM by Egger, Markus (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
New CoDe and CoDe Focus Magazines
Lots of stuff is happening at CoDe Magazine. We just released two new CoDe Focus magazines for instance. The first one focusses on Visual Studio Extensibility. So if you ever wondered how you can customize Visual Studio, check out this issue.
We also have another Focus issue coming that focusses on Database Programmability. It is actually done and printed, but since it has NDA content, we cannot make it available until TechEd Europe. However, this also means that you can still go online and sign up for a free issue, by indicating your interest in a certain area. Focus issues are completely free, no strings attached. Sign up here (for the database one, or for other ones in the future).
We also have a few really strong regular issues. The next one is about .NET 3.5. The one we just had recently had some XNA content. (To be clear: It still had a LOT of regular .NET content, but we also had XNA content). People really loved that issue. I just had a meeting with the MS Game Studio and XBox team, and they had printed the cover of the XNA issue on professionally produced posters that were all over their building. That was cool to see. After all, Halo 3 was the biggest media event ever. And they had our cover hanging as posters, and not some huge publisher's. That was really cool!
Here's that cover:
Posted @ 2:10 PM by Egger, Markus (email@example.com) -
Friday, October 12, 2007
Here is some information on some events I will be speaking at in the near future.
First, DevConnections in Las Vegas is coming up in early November. This is now the prime third party event for MS developers. 5000+ developers are expected to storm the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort. The conference covers various areas, such as Visual Studio .NET, ASP.ENT, SQL Server, SharePoint, Mobile Development, and Architecture.
I will present on several different topics:
- Designing Polished Interfaces with Expression Blend
- Understanding Efficient User Interface Design
- Adding Power and Network Awareness to your Windows Vista Mobile PC Applications
- Programming Windows Sideshow
I am always looking forward to DevConnections, but I especially like the Vegas event. It is large, has tons of Microsoft support, and - well - it's Vegas baby!
Later in November, I will also be at the next DevTeach event in Canada. This time, it's in Vancouver. (Previous DevTeach events have all been in Montreal, so this is an interesting twist for this conference, which is now held twice a year). The event also covers a whole list of topics, including various .NET topics (Windows, ASP.NET, WPF), Visual Studio Orcas, .NET 3.5, SQL Server, Agile Development, VSX, and even an XNA track! (With an associated XNA Contest!). I also hear that there will be parties and free beer...
I will present the following sessions:
- Introduction to LINQ
- Understanding Layout and Styles in WPF
- Creating and Using Domain Specific Languages
So lots of stuff going on. If you attend one of these events, stop by and say hello!
Posted @ 10:34 PM by Egger, Markus (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
Friday, October 12, 2007
INETA Speaker and MVP again...
Late last month, I was informed that I have been named a Microsoft MVP (specialization: C#, although I do a lot of different things).
I was named MVP the first time late in 1995. This award is for 2008. So that makes for 13 years of "MVPdom". Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't have accurate records of fellow MVPs who have received the award this many years in a row. I'd love to get together with the others who've been around then. (So if you have been an MVP back then, or know someone, let me know). If I remember correctly, there were 30 of us back then. Now there are several thousand. (I believe we also have the honor that we are the company with the most individual MVP awards...)
Anyway: I am still always excited when I get the award for another year! After all, it is nice to know that the community work one does is appreciated. So I thought I'd share this with you.
Claudio (one of our key guys) also just received another MVP award. Check out his post here.
For more information on what and who MVPs are check out this URL: https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
Another thing I should share is that I am now an INETA speaker. INETA speakers travel around the country (world?) to speak at various user groups and events. I have already done a lot of that in the past, and I guess this means that I will be doing more of it. For more information, check out INETA's article on recent additions to their speaker lineups.
Posted @ 10:22 PM by Egger, Markus (email@example.com) -
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Houston .NET User Group - The UI Revolution
I am speaking at the Houston .NET User Group tomorrow night (Thursday, October 11th). The topic is "The UI Revolution" and it is about WPF and Silverlight and those sorts of things. Check out more details at www.hdnug.org.
Update: You can download the slide deck from the presentation here.
Posted @ 4:13 PM by Egger, Markus (firstname.lastname@example.org) -